Eye on Education

Factchecking Claims About Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s Re-Transformation Plan

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has introduced a package of proposed legislative changes that would bring sweeping changes to the state’s second-largest school district. It includes provisions prohibiting tenure for new teachers and allowing the school district to share future tax levy proceeds with some charter schools.

Yesterday, Cleveland Teachers Union officials told Cleveland’s city council that they were going to come up with their own package of proposed legislative changes. (Details on those changes were sketchy, the Cleveland Plain Dealer says.) Union officials also made some statements about the changes Jackson’s  proposed legislation would bring to local schools.


In comments to City Council, union official Michele Pomerantz suggested (but did not say explicitly) that Jackson’s changes would “grant the school district brass full discretion to fire or reassign teachers on a whim.”

And in a message to members, union President David Quolke said that the draft legislation “would give the CEO the right to terminate teachers who are assigned to low performing schools, regardless of their effectiveness, and without due process.”


Jackson’s plan does make it easier for district administrators to fire teachers. It specifically cites receiving two consecutive ”ineffective” ratings on annual evaluations as a reason for termination. It does not cite “whim” as a reason for termination.

The draft legislation would also:

  • Eliminate tenure for teachers licensed in 2011 or later;
  • Require only one evaluation (instead of the two currently required) for a teacher whom the district may want to let go;
  • Prohibit teachers from challenging evaluation results through the union grievance procedure (but allow them to challenge results through the common pleas court system);
  • Expand the justifications for laying off teachers; and
  • Require performance (broadly defined) to be the principle factor in determining layoffs and rehirings.

Go on, read the draft legislation for yourself. We’ll help: We already highlighted some of the key changes for you.




  • Guest

    The CEO is allowed to transfer teachers for any reason, right? If a teacher is transferred to a “failing” school, that teacher’s contract can be suspended. So a transfer “on a whim” could result in termination. That’s what she was talking about.

    “Mostly True”

  • EdResource

    Teachers need to be open to evaluation and the public should know who is performing well and who is not performing the task at hand. In most union contracts teachers who choose involuntary transfers have a right to enter back to the previous school when the next opportunity presents itself with bid-day. The question I ask is do Cleveland teachers have this luxury? If so, why is that the case? I think for the betterment of the students teachers should be places at what school the CEO thinks is justifiable.


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